After school activities are the rage of the day. With about $ 500 million
invested in these programs and more than 10 million children attending
them in America alone, the popularity of these activities cannot be
overlooked. Everyone understands the need to develop new skills, gain more
knowledge and keep the children safe when parents are working.
The most important factor in the success of any program is the
relationship between the children participating in the program and the
adult members who work with these children. Often, children may confide in
an adult member who is not a teacher. This kind of emotional interaction
is a must when children are struggling to make sense of the whirlpool of
emotions that assail them.
Direct contact with professionals can be an inspiring experience. Children
are very much impressed by the knowledge and experience of these adults.
Young people gain a lot of knowledge and experience when they deal with
experienced adults and older youth who serve as teachers or mentors in
these programs. These mentors are different from the teachers in the
school and children are more likely to draw inspiration from them.
After school activities that are managed professionally by people who are
successful in their own fields of expertise will produce children who are
more enthusiastic and successful. Meaningful interaction with adults is a
learning experience in itself.
For millions of parents around the world, the day does not end with the school bell. There are still pictures to be painted, songs to be sung and games to be played. This all adds up to keeping children happy, safe and out of trouble. But, parents have to steer away from going overboard.
After school is not baby-sitting:
After school activities thrive only if it is backed by sufficient parental involvement. What would a soccer match be without parents cheering their little heroes from the sidelines?.
Research and choose:
Instead of convenience being the decisive factor, find out things that will interest your child. Once you select a program, get the fine print and find out what you have to contribute.
Many children attend piano classes, followed by ballet and squeeze in some time for play dates in between just before they rush home in time for bed. This rigor is too much for a child. So, go slow.
When to quit:
Often, parents enroll their child in an activity to discover that he may not be the prodigy they thought he would be. This is the time to let go. Your child may not become the next wonder-kid. But, let him cultivate an interest that he enjoys. Remember, happiness and fulfillment are all that matter.
Research and studies show that our children are growing fater by the
day. Many families all over America are struggling to keep the weight of
their children within reasonable limits. As a parent, I know that it’s
nearly impossible for me to look into the tear-filled eyes of my son and
So, what’s the alternative? Studies show that the number one reason for
obesity in children is not junk food and colas. It’s actually TV.
Children tend to plop themselves on the sofa and munch away happily when
they are in front of the TV sets. But, once the set is off, their natural
buoyancy will lead the children to do stuff and to move their body. THey will then be diverted from eating.
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